Update: Savio's Neighbor Takes the Stand
Mary Pontarelli gasped when shown a photo of her former neighbor's body.
Updated 5 p.m.
Kathleen Savio's neighbor and friend Mary Pontarelli was on the witness stand all afternoon. Pontarelli insists Savio's death scene was altered after her body was discovered. Specifically she said a towel was placed on the edge of the tub. She said there were no towels when she first saw the body.
Prosecutors wanted Pontarelli to recount the time Peterson threw Savio to the ground and had her arrested for allegedly attacking Drew Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy Peterson. Judge Edward Burmila blocked her testimony.
Updated 3:15 p.m.
Kathleen Savio's close friend and next-door neighbor Mary Pontarelli has been testifying all afternoon. She gasped and let out a loud sob when shown a gruesome photo of Savio's naked body in a bloody bathtub.
Drew Peterson stared at the same image when it was broadcast on a large courtroom screen. He showed no emotion.
Updated 12:30 p.m.
Defense attorney Joel Brodsky presented opening statements in the Drew Peterson murder trial and began leading the jury on a rambling, disconnected journey through his client's life, but was cut short and slapped down by Judge Edward Burmila.
"Mr. Brodsky, you're testifying to the jury about Mr. Peterson's life story, which is completely inappropriate," Burmila said.
When Brodsky tried to explain himself by saying his story would be relevant later, the judge said, "Stop—the issue is not the relevance of it."
"You're perverting the purpose of the opening statement here," Burmila added.
Once Brodsky's tale of Peterson's time in high school, the Army and the start of his career as a Bolingbrook police officer was cut off by Burmila, the lawyer proceeded to rip the character of his client's slain third wife, Kathleen Savio.
Brodsky said Savio "lies and makes up stories to fit her purpose or when she's mad or angry," repeatedly told of times she went "bonkers," and said she was "bossy."
He also claimed she attacked Drew Peterson and his next wife, Stacy Peterson.
"She charged at (their) car like a person possessed," he said. "She's like a mad woman."
Brodsky insisted prosecutors will fail to prove Peterson killed Savio because she actually died in an accident."
Updated 11 a.m.
It looked like there was nearly a mistrial after Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow brought up the co-worker Drew Peterson allegedly offered $25,000 to orchestrate a hit on his third wife Kathleen Savio.
Glasgow failed to disclose to the defense he was going to use that evidence. This was a big part of the prosecution's case and they now can't use it at trial. Peterson's defense team moved for a mistrial.
There was a long argument, but the judge denied the motion. Prosecutors will still be hampered going forward.
At long last, the Drew Peterson murder trial has begun.
Peterson, the 58-year-old former Bolingbrook cop, accused killer and serial marrier is charged with murdering one wife and suspected by the Illinois State Police of having a hand in another's disappearance.
Stay with Patch throughout the trial as we bring you updates from the Will County Courthouse. Follow how other media is covering the trial in Around the Web piece.
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Read More: Drew Peterson Coverage on Patch